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Bitter Seeds

 
Bitter Seeds

(Bitter Seeds) Director: M. X. Peled, USA - IND, 2011, original version / English and Czech subtitles, 101 min

Micha X. Peled’s film focuses on the agricultural community of central India to get to the root of the huge number of suicides occurring in the region. In the last 16 years, about a quarter of a million farmers have taken their lives, including the father of journalism student Manjusha Amberwar, who acts as the film’s guide. She searches for reasons for the tragic situation among local cotton farmers. Gradually she discovers that genetically modified cotton seeds – produced by the U.S. Monsanto company and assisted by the World Trade Organization – completely control the Indian market. Like most farmers, Amberwar’s uncle has no choice but to put his field in hock to loan sharks and buy expensive seeds with the borrowed money. Despite promises of twofold harvests, the seeds are not reliable and require more water and costly fertilisers and pesticides. This investigative documentary about the risks of biotechnology and the power of multinational companies took the Green Screen competition award at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.


 

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